If you’ve not noticed, superheroes are a pretty hot property right now. That includes in the world of gaming. If you’d like to strap on the spandex and wear your underwear on the outside of your pants, there’s a new RPG up on Kickstarter that’ll let you do just that. It’s called Superhero: 2044.
From the campaign:
Everyone associated with the gaming industry understands the overwhelming nature of product offerings with a fantasy based theme. Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder and Magic dominate tabletops from here to Timbuctoo. I was looked at with a smidge of skepticism when I began discussing with people the possibility of doing an RPG based on comic books and super heroes. Basically it was like the movie Forrest Gump when Tom Hanks goes to buy a shrimp boat from an old mariner on the Gulf Coast- “ Is ya stupid or something?”. If the universal experience of fantasy games triggers a sense memory of that first fairy tale we heard as a child then super hero games ; in theory, should trigger similar universal fond memories of that first time as a kid we tied a towel around our neck as a makeshift cape and jumped off the couch. But the devil has been in the details in our industry. There have been some great games …but… No super hero themed game ever reached the popularity of fantasy games. In movies, TV, video gaming, and toys…super heroes win the day. Except in our industry. The thing that was bothering me was the WHY. Both major comic book publishing houses have had offerings by game developers over the years but each one had it’s flaws, critics, and detractors. If you are making game based on popular heroes you start out with certain disadvantages. Extremely powerful characters cannot be watered down or large corporations who make billions on T-shirt sale get nervous. Game mechanics and gameplay balance ne damned. The smaller companies without a major DC or Marvel license in hand seemed to give up on the visual demands of the comic book public right away. So lack of visuals in the comic book realm is sure death. Many of those games presume the creation of a compelling comic book universe from scratch. Good luck with that. So I began to look at older games and what they did right and what they did wrong and found Superhero: 2044. Many games that followed SH: 2044 co-opted numerous game rules but curiously left out what I felt was the very foundation of having a successful super hero themed game. This was the inception of categorizing each character into classifications which formed a structure integral to organizing gameplay. It just needed characters. It may sound counter-intuitive in a D&D world but you need a base universe – to build a universe of your own. We built it and give you the tools to build upon it. I saw all these issues as an opportunity. First you need a bunch of viable characters. I started with the wealth of classic characters who are free to use. Then added characters I felt would be necessary for an interesting game. We methodically prepared the visuals and when those were underway we began systematically developing each character’s attributes and statistical scores based on what would happen in the real world if these people sprung to life. The result is a universe specifically generated FOR a game as opposed to a makeshift retrofit of popular characters into a game. We have carte blanche to create a balance among the characters to make entertaining game. Seemingly all powerful godlike characters will have achilles heel weaknesses. Street savvy underdogs can obtain weaponry which can even the playing field instantaneously. Each player participates in the gameplay evenly in a collaborative effort to save the world. Add in structured math, ships, vehicles, villains, and mercenaries backstories for all the above and I feel we have arrived at the perfect comic book role playing game.
The campaign is up and running now. It’s set to go for another 48 days (so you’ve got a bit of time).